To the Doers Go the Spoils

How to shift into action

I love it when you come to my workshops. We have a great time talking, and you end up learning some new things and getting motivated to take action on some other things.

But learning is not doing.

And that makes me sad. I love learning new things. It’s exciting. It gets me thinking about all the things that’ll happen, and I start to see a better future.

But the learning often doesn’t turn into doing. My vision doesn’t turn into a better future, and I end up doing the same old things in the same old way, and my future looks pretty much like my past.

Learning is not doing. Learning is learning. Learning is awesome, but it doesn’t change the future unless we couple it with some doing.

Our love of learning is awesome, but it’s not the thing that causes change.

It’s our love of doing that makes a difference. In fact, all of us have spent time with people who love doing more than they love learning. Sometimes I feel superior to those people. In my mind, I’ve placed a higher value on learning over doing.

But the doers go faster. They get there first. They make more, grow faster, and end up at the destination I dreamed about while I’m still on the road trying to get myself moving.

The big winners are those who love learning as well as doing. Second place belongs to the doers. Last place, at least in our little world of ambitious people, goes to the learners. The learners get to sit smugly in last place thinking about why should have been first.

How to Push Your “Go” Button

One thing to learn if you’re stuck learning and not doing is how to start loving doing. We each have a button we can push, a trick we can use, or a magic rabbit we can pull from a hat. We know we’ve got it in us to love doing. We’ve all done something big and important in the past. We’ve had our moments. The key is finding a way to get back to that place.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What got me going before?
  • How can I do it again?
  • How did I jump-start my doing and get myself off the couch?

Was it one of these three things?

1. The Goal?

Sometimes we simply need a clear sense of what needs to be done. Setting the goal gets us going. Living without a plan leaves many of us floundering. We need a simple, clear vision of the destination. Once we see it, we’re on our way. Until we see it, we’re stuck watching old West Wing episodes on Netflix.

2. The Game?

Some of us need a game with a scoreboard. We need to know that we’re moving and winning. We need something that shows us that progress is happening, and we need intermittent rewards. We need a task list with items we can mark “done.” We need a dashboard that shows where we were and where we are. We need something that keeps us engaged, focused, and moving in the right direction.

3. The Emotions?

Many of us get attached to the outcome through some powerful emotional connection. Maybe we have childhood issues we need to overcome by achieving certain success. Maybe we feel strongly about fulfilling our commitments. Maybe we’re driven by fear or by love. Emotion is a powerful motivator, regardless of the driver. Emotions move us forward. Access them, and you’ll find energy you didn’t know you had beneath the surface.

Learn First, Then Act

Something helped you go from learning to doing the last time you did something big. Maybe it was the goal, the game, or the emotions. What did the trick?

Figure out what drives you to take your learning and turn it into action. Find the button, the trick, or the magic that moves your gearshift lever from “park” to “drive” and trigger it.

Learning is not doing. You already knew that. Signing up for my workshop will give you some new ideas. But it’s the implementation and execution that’ll grow your business and solve your problems. Sure, we’ll talk about how to get yourself going and keep yourself moving.

But, ultimately, it’s about you and the triggers you find that help you keep moving, keep doing, and keep achieving the objectives that matter to you.